This information bulletin provides further information about the Waste to Energy Fund: Bioenergy for Stream 2: Project infrastructure not covered in the Guidelines.
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Answers to questions we receive at our information sessions and via phone and email are published on this page. We only publish answers to questions that are not already covered in the Guidelines.
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On Wednesday 13 June, Sustainability Victoria held an information session on Stream 2: Project infrastructure of the Waste to Energy Fund: Bioenergy. The session provided an overview of the Fund, project eligibility, the application process and an outline of steps to take before making a submission.
This video shows 1 speaker presenting at the Waste to Energy Fund – Bioenergy Information Session, Stream 2: Project infrastructure, on 13 July 2022.
The Sustainability Victoria presenters are:
[Opening visual of slide with text saying ‘Please wait, your info session will begin shortly’]
[The visuals during this webinar are of Matthew Nelson presenting via video, with reference to the content of a PowerPoint presentation being played on screen]
[Visual of slide with text saying, ‘Waste to Energy Fund – Bioenergy Information Session’, ‘Stream 2: Project infrastructure’, ‘Matthew Nelson’, ’13 July 2022’, ‘Sustainability Victoria’]
Thank you for joining us today to talk about the recently opened $10 million Waste to Energy Bioenergy Fund. On behalf of Sustainability Victoria, I would like to welcome you to this info session today which is about Stream 2 Project Development.
My name is Matt and I lead SV’s Waste to Energy Team. I am going to be your host today and go through some of the information about Stream 2 over the next 30 odd minutes. I’m also going to be joined today by some of my amazing teammates who are going to be operating in the background to answer any questions you might have through the session and change the information you see on your screen. I will chat a little bit about the mechanics on that shortly. But again, we’re very delighted you have taken some time out of your day today to learn more about the Stream 2 requirements and conditions of the Bioenergy Fund to be able to help you participate and apply by the 26th of August.
But before we get into the details of Stream 2, I am just going to spend the next couple of minutes outlining how the session is going to work so that you can get the most out of it and really put yourself in a great position to submit your applications.
To begin with I would like to start by acknowledging the Wurundjeri Woiwurrung people who are the traditional custodians of the land from which I am joining you today from my home in Montmorency, Victoria. I pay my respects to their Elders past and present. I also pay my respects to the traditional owners and custodians of the land from which you are all joining us today. I acknowledge that we live and work on the lands of the world’s oldest and most sustainable culture. I acknowledge the deep connection to earth of the First Nations people over the last 60,000 years and their invaluable contributions to our understanding of climate change and the environment.
Before we get into things today, I want to take some time to just quickly go through how this live event works again just to make sure you get the most out of the session and are well placed to knowing the key information, where to find it and how to reach out to SV for support after today.
It is my goal that you leave today well placed to know all of the information about the Fund and where to access it. And then probably the key take home for you is we are going to talk about how you can contact the SV Grants team for specific information advice about your project and potential application after today. We’ll also be recording the session with the aim to have it on our Information Bulletin on the Bioenergy Fund Grants Guideline page, and I’ll talk about that more later.
But real quickly the main thing for today is I want to talk and point out how you can best ask questions while you’re with us over the next hour because for me that’s a really important part of the session to make sure we’re helping guide you with appropriate advice. So, our hope today is to take on as many possible questions as we can about the Bioenergy Fund and we’ll also encourage you to send us any you might have after this session to our Grants team and I’ll give you their address in a little bit.
So have a look at the top of your screen really quickly and you’ll be able to see a button that says Q&A. After you click on this a side box will open up that you see on the screen here to your side and this will be where you can put your questions in if they relate to the Fund and/or the application process. My team here with me today is either going to take it on board and try to answer in the Chat directly, they are going to send me those questions later when we have our dedicated Q&A time, or we’ll work to get that information out on notice through our SV comms in the Information Bulletin.
So, a real quick recap to ask your questions today. Type them in the Chat Q&A box. Our Grants support team will be here today to answer what they can. Some of the questions will be taken at the end during the open Q&A and some of the questions again we will take on notice. We have a lot of information to go through today though so if you have any questions just see if I answer it in the content. But you can always type them in the Chat box as you go along.
So please note that while we are part of the Victorian Government today, I am not going to be talking in much detail about any other Department policy or regulations as that’s not the authority of SV. I will however provide you with some advice of what you should consider when applying to the Fund especially in regards to doing your own diligence to know your responsibilities and compliance obligations.
So again, fortunately or unfortunately depending on the sound of my voice I’m going to be talking for the first 30 minutes and you’re only going to see my video on the Teams live event today. So, we’ll finish with the Q&A though and we’ll encourage you to ask questions as we go along. We’ll have a short three-to-four-minute break before we go into questions as well. But just noting the best way to seek advice from here today is to email the SV Grants team as your first step of action.
So, it’s my hope today that you’re here to learn more about Stream 2 of the Bioenergy Fund. Yesterday we held a similar session on Stream 1. And apologies to those that might have had any technical issues with the registration link. If you’re having issues or you had issues yesterday, please contact the SV Grants team to let them know. We want to understand to make it better in the future. And again, if you did miss out the information from yesterday will be available on our Information Bulletin and I’ll make sure you get that.
However, if you were here yesterday and you’re here again today that’s great. Hopefully some other key messages will resonate with you and a few sections might become a bit more clear to you today as well. And then also another chance to get any outstanding questions you had resolved. So again, my goal for today is that I walk you through the agenda you see on this screen here so that you know more about the information about the Fund and the guidelines.
As you see on this screen here all I am going to talk to today is primarily based on the Fund Guidelines that are available on the SV Grants web page. I am going to focus on some of those key areas to help you submit a strong application and put you in a position to succeed. I will go over a little about the application process, how you can create a SmartyGrants account, and there you will be able to preview and submit your application. I will talk a little bit about how and when applications are evaluated and that process and then about how projects get awarded and the timeline with that. And then also we will say this a number of times, go over what support is available to you to go through the application, seek clarification.
So also, just as an aside would really recommend you start to process early and start talking to people on your team and in your networks for project ideas and just to get them on board. Check in for their guidance and support to test your ideas. Also maybe see if they want to collaborate and partner up. There’s also a number of consultants you can look to for support if you need to gain assistance in that space. While SV doesn’t recommend any consultants you can always reach out to groups like Bioenergy Australia and Waste Management and Resource Recovery Australia for some advice in that space.
What we want you leave today with is a solid understanding of what you need to consider and plan for to submit your application by the 26th
So, before we get into the chunky nuts and bolts of Stream 2 – there’s a lot to unpack – I want to make sure you know where to find all of the information I’m going to be talking about today. When you visit SV’s website you will find a banner at the top in bold titled Grants, Funding, and Investment. If you click through to Grants and Funding, you will see all of the currently open SV grants that are available to you. Here you will also find the Fund Guidelines specific to each of the two Streams of the Bioenergy Fund.
The Fund Guidelines will talk to you about eligibility of your project, the assessment process, funding conditions, those timelines that are important. It will go over the process of how to apply, the assistance that SV has made available to support you, as well as info on how to contact SV and other agencies. I am going to close today’s session again with how to apply which will bring us back to the guideline page to sort of close the session out. And we’ll take a quick probably three/four-minute break before we go into question time just to allow people to stretch, have a glass of water, and allow me and my team to sort of set up to best answer your questions.
Right. So, I’m going to start broadly and just talk first about the Waste to Energy Bio Fund at large and how it’s designed to support Victorian industries like farming and agriculture, food production and manufacturing and local government and water corporations to turn organic waste into renewable energy. This is very important as by the year 2030 our Government aims to have the organic waste sent to landfill as outlined in the Circular Economy Policy you see on this screen Recycling Victoria. SV has been working with other government agencies towards a 40% renewable energy capacity target by 2025 and 50% in place by 2030. Recycling Victoria is a huge $380 million action plan investment strategy that is already transforming Victoria’s resource recovery sector.
Recycling Victoria also brought forward the Waste to Energy Framework. This was released after extensive stakeholder consultation in 2021 and was released in November last year. The framework outlines the proposed policy approach to a licencing system to cap the amount of permitted waste certain thermal waste to energy facilities can process.
Largely the framework proposes to exempt waste that is waste biomass.
This waste would then be able to be processed by thermal waste to energy facilities and not require a cap licence. So that waste is the focus of the Bioenergy Fund, waste biomass. Further information will be provided later on about the eligibility requirements for the Bioenergy Fund including the waste streams and materials eligible.
So, our team looks forward to seeing your proposals come through Stream 2 of the Bioenergy Fund to support achieving these aims to help increase Victoria’s renewable energy strength and capacity. But as a very first step after today I want to encourage you to read the Waste to Energy Framework and start doing a self-assessment of your project to those conditions and eligibility requirements. And then you can contact the team for more information once you know where you sit there.
All right. The global energy transition to renewable energy that we are currently in is going to bring tremendous opportunities for Victoria that we’re already realising. This $10 million Bioenergy Fund further supports Victorians to realise these opportunities to turn their organic waste which can include agriculture, livestock material, food, and garden waste, into renewable energy. This Fund will help businesses bring forward sustainable alternatives to natural gas, help to reduce bills and cut down on our collective carbon emissions. The Fund is all about increasing access to renewable energy options from organic biomass waste. As long as regulatory conditions can be met, and your facility can operate in compliance the Fund will support a wide range of industries to be able to do this which are further detailed in the Fund guidelines we’ll point you to. The Fund will support applications in Stream 1 for feasibilities and case studies and Stream 2 is about new infrastructure purchase and commissioning.
So again, we encourage you to contact the SV Grants team after reading through the Fund Guides and application in more detail for project specific questions. The Fund is going to prioritise projects that increase jobs, create new economic opportunities throughout Victoria and bring forward renewable energy options while developing safe end uses for the residual products created by any of your bioenergy processes.
So, with that in mind we are now going to jump into the details and talk about some of the key details of Stream 2, where you can get more information and support and some key approaches you should consider before you apply.
So, as I assume many of you on today’s meeting know bioenergy technologies are generally well established around the world and the ways of converting biomass into bioenergy are numerous. As such we have designed a fund that allows for innovative project proposals by designing eligibility requirements to really let the market tell us what’s leading edge, best practice and what should be in Victoria.
This Fund aims to help people wherever they are in developing or realising their bioenergy project in their project lifecycle. To make this happen my team has designed the fund to be as open for participation as possible and released two Streams available for funding. Again, today is about Stream 2 Project Infrastructure. Yesterday was on Stream 1. If you missed out on that information, we will have that available on the Information Bulletin very soon. So, each Stream I want to point out has very specific funding ranges available.
You can see on this screen Stream 2 is for larger projects with a cap of $1 million per project.
So, each Stream it is important to note has different conditions and type of projects that will be funded. Each also has different funding contribution requirements. Stream 2 has an exception for not-for-profit organisations, charities, community groups, cooperatives, and research institutes as it relates to their contribution requirements.
However, the evaluation process for each Stream is going to be the same and an independent assessment panel will assess the application based on merit according to the criteria in the guidelines. And I am going to talk later about the criteria and what you should focus on. Preference will be given to applications that demonstrate higher value for money. The guidelines again for each Stream are available on the SV Grants web page I spoke of earlier, and we’ll send these to you after the session by the end of the week. The guidelines have all of the funding and eligibility requirements for each stream in more detail. So again, I encourage you to reach out early to the SV Grants team to ask any specific questions you might have about your project. Today the focus is going to look closely at Stream 2 Project Infrastructure.
So, I really quickly want to talk and have a look in broad terms about the scope of the Fund. You can see on the screen here some of the indicators about what is in scope and out of scope. You need to go to the Fund Guidelines to really interrogate this in detail. It is important when considering what’s in scope you really need to think about looking at what materials your project is using and what process those materials will undertake to produce bioenergy.
If you are proposing to process waste biomass you are eligible for the Fund. If you do not recover and process organic material, you are ineligible for the Fund. So those are some quick early yes/no questions for you to consider.
If your project requires a cap licence in the framework it is out of scope for this Fund. Hazardous waste and soil is also ineligible for this Fund. Also have a quick look at the types of costs that will be funded and what costs will not be funded to make sure that fits within your project.
It is also a good idea to start thinking now about any EPA, DELWP or local planning permissions and requirements you will need to meet. Start doing your due diligence to understand your obligations. This is applicable to both streams. So again, this is one of my key messages today. You are probably going to hear it every slide. Maybe I won’t. Is that I recommend after reading the Fund Guidelines you contact the SV Grants team to ask the specific questions about your project’s eligibility.
Okay. Now I would like to talk further about the eligibility requirements for Stream 2.
On the screen you can see some of the type of materials that are eligible for funding for Stream 2.
Over the next few slides, I am going to talk about what will be funded and what you need to do to demonstrate to show our evaluation panel that your project is eligible and worthy of receiving funding. So, some of the types of projects that would be funded through Stream 2 are ones that target capital purchasing, construction, and commissioning costs to increase infrastructure to produce bioenergy. If you are just starting out and you might be looking to scope, test, gain approvals in some of those preconstruction activities look at Stream 1 of our Fund. That might better fit your project.
So again, this screen has some of the main materials and process but are further outlined in the guidelines in section 2.
So, I really encourage you to see those guidelines to see the qualifiers in detail for Stream 2.
So really, I will draw your attention into the section of the guidelines called 2.3. This is about what will be funded.
It is important that your project will align with the objectives of the Waste to Energy Bioenergy Fund and the Recycling Victoria Policy. You need to consider what’s sort of happening on the state landscape with policy and strategy and consider putting that into your pitch of your application. Ensure you can demonstrate how your project meets those objectives. You will also see on this screen some of the costs that will be considered for Stream 2 eligibility. And again, it focuses around infrastructure purchases for your project to come online.
So again section 2.3 in the guidelines covers this information in detail and I encourage you to visit that often.
Right. So just a little more about Stream 2 eligibility before we move on. Funding for Stream 2 is going to support projects that are moving towards becoming operational in their project lifecycle. To qualify you are going to be required to demonstrate that your project can meet these requirements that you see here in your application and further expressed in the application itself. You need to demonstrate to us with evidence that your projects qualify for Stream 2.
Once you get into it again encourage you to read through the guidelines and contact the SV Grants team for project specific eligibility requirements.
So, I’m not going to spend too much time on this slide other than to point out we’ve tried to create applicant eligibility that is wide open as possible. This is all about letting the market come to us to suggest and bring forward what is innovative and proven to help develop Victoria’s bioenergy sector. We want to hear from industry and the market about what are some of the best solutions that might be happening around the world or in development that we can bring forward into Victoria. So funding is available to applicants that meet the Waste to Energy Framework requirements and propose to generate bioenergy using organic material and you will also need to demonstrate to us that this is the best value solution in the waste hierarchy. For further details we encourage you again to read the Fund Guidelines.
Okay. So, we just talked about project eligibility. Now I am going to talk a little bit for the next few slides around how your application is going to be assessed. And I want to point out this table here. Out of all the stuff in the Fund Guidelines when you are putting your application together focus on the criteria when you are answering all the questions in the applications. Because all applications will be assessed against the same criteria you see here. It is very specific.
The weightings of the criteria will be your main guide as to where you should provide longer answers and focus your attention on. I want you to be as specific and informative as possible so you can demonstrate how your project meets the different criteria of the Fund. So, you’ll see very classic the what, who, how and what. All very important but there’s different weightings for each.
So, our expectation from people up to this there is that we anticipate a good subscription to the Fund. So again, you might have the best project idea but you’re really going to need to express that in your application. Be precise with your details and rationale against the Fund criteria as possible. The evaluation panel has explicit instructions only to consider what is in the applications they read, and they’ll be looking at how well your application speaks to the criteria.
Okay. I’ll focus here a little bit on the what, what we’re trying to get out of this. This is really your opportunity to show how your project is going to meet the key objectives and criteria of the Fund. It is important to demonstrate that the project is viable and will create the outcomes the Fund is trying to achieve. Think about what you are doing with your project. What is the overall impact of this project not only to your specific situation but maybe to the Victorian sector? Why is it important? What is it going to achieve? Really think about if there is any larger impact this project is going to bring to Victoria and help influence success of the bioenergy sector in Victoria and Australia.
In this section we want you to demonstrate how your project team has the required skills and resources to deliver the project. Let us know does your team have experience in waste to energy already? How about any other renewable energy program planning, execution, or delivery?
Let us know what experience the team has in delivering similar infrastructure projects. We would be looking for details on what these projects were and what were the project outcomes and who was involved to make it happen.
In this section we want you to demonstrate how the project is going to be delivered. What key project details and considerations are you going to put in your application to show the panel how the project will be delivered? What is your project plan? What are the key elements in there to demonstrate to the panel that you have the structure in place to deliver your project on time, on budget and within scope? What steps and hurdles have you thought about and what is required to make the project happen? Ensure you have demonstrated consideration and planning for all the potential project requirements and approvals. Show us the key information. It is important here you need to talk about your project monitoring and evaluation plan as well as your feedstock management plan as well.
And finally, we have the why. While it is only 10% it’s very important to know this as well. This is your opportunity to tell us why the project is needed and most importantly why financial assistance from the Government is needed. What are the benefits this project is going to provide outside of your own project to the sector at large? How does it align with the priorities of the Government that I talked about earlier? Have a look at Recycling Victoria to steer you in the right direction.
Talk about how SV funding this project is going to help make it succeed. Have a think about explaining potential outcomes or impacts with and without Government support.
So, what are the long-term benefits to Victoria that this project is going to bring? And wherever you can support all statements with evidence.
Okay. We are now getting to the part about seeking out assistance. This is really important and probably might vary from some of the grants you’ve been involved in in the past. We really want you to reach out early for any clarification or advice through the SV Grants team via the email address you see on the screen. Once you have read the guidelines, thought about your project, done some due diligence, I also recommend that you engage with SV’s free investment support services before submitting your final application. On this screen you can see some of the areas of your application they can assist you with.
I just want to note that investment facilitation support is separate and removed from the panel evaluation scoring process. Use of that service does not guarantee any level of success with your application.
But it is highly recommended you do.
It will really set you up for success.
Look I think there is a number of dates here on the screen. The most important one is what you see in bold. That is Friday the 26th
of August when applications are due. Don’t wait until the 20th of August to start your application though. Start your application early. We don’t want to run into a situation that any technical difficulties might prevent you from submitting a full application. Now is also the time to start your due diligence work. Again, talk to your teams and any potential partners. Have a look at those regulatory and planning requirements that your project might require if you haven’t already and seek advice out from the SV Grants team.
We will have a look at that end date March 2025. That is when all projects will need to be completed and finalised so you can begin your final reports if you successfully receive funding.
Important question. How do you actually apply to the Bioenergy Fund? Answer is real easy. You will do that through SmartyGrants through the Sustainability Victoria web page. However, you’re going to need to take five minutes and create an account. It’s very easy to do.
After you do that, you also need to ensure your organisation can apply, that your collaborative partners are suitable, and your project is eligible. Read SV’s Short Term Funding Agreement as well. You must agree to and meet all the terms and conditions in that to be eligible. You need to read our Terms of Participation in Grants Program as well.
So, there’s some instructions for SmartyGrants on the first page of the application so hopefully it’s pretty easy for you. You can always reach out to the SV Grants team if you have any questions around setting up your SmartyGrants or if you want to get into more explicit project advice. So, give it a go. It is a pretty straightforward process to create a SmartyGrants account. And again, if you have any questions please contact our Grants team.
So, I want to talk real quickly about how you can write a competitive application because it’s really going to help you out in the subscribed fund. The Victorian Government has a great web page that you can see on this screen about how to write a grant application. We will send you the link for this as well. So, what you can do is start talking about putting a detailed level of information as possible. The more information you provide the easier it is for the panel to evaluate the details. Focus on that criteria I talked about. Demonstrate how your project achieves Fund goals. The clearest picture you can present of your project the better. Use your words well as we have a template with fixed fields. Every word counts.
And again, the earlier you do your due diligence and time you give yourself to submit your application the better off you will be. We often get incomplete applications at the last minute, and this can impact the panel’s evaluation of your application. Be clear and concise in writing your application. Make every word count. Demonstrate again how your project meets those fund criteria I spoke of earlier.
So, here’s some of the next steps and then we’re going to move into question time after this.
Pretty straightforward. From what you can see on the screen it is what I just talked about.
But take your time to get your SmartyGrants account set up after today’s session. It is going to take you five or ten minutes to do. Do it today and just get it out of the way.
Contact SV in the next couple of weeks for clarification and support after you have read the Fund Guidelines in more detail. Have a read of the Waste to Energy Framework and complete your self‑assessment of your project to understand your requirements there. Again, do that due diligence and homework. Now’s the time to be doing that. Have some initial meetings with your teams. Get your project concept together and start going from there. And again, aim to submit your application prior to the 26th of August if you can to avoid any last minute technical difficulties.
Okay folks. Look we’re just going to take a quick two-minute break.
Sorry. I should say this is the end of the substantive information around Stream 2. Hopefully, some of your questions have been answered in the Q&A box. We are going to take a short two-minute break. We will be back at 11:37 and recommence with Q&A time. We will say 11:38. Thank you everybody.
Hi everybody. Thanks for your patience there. Hopefully appreciated a little stretch break, got a glass of water.
Nice. All right. So, I see my team has been very busy in the Q&A box. People were able to access that. Looks good. I’ve just had a quick read over everybody’s questions and everything and my team’s also sent me a couple of questions for us to look into. And again, I just want to say this is not going to be the only time for questions. If you have questions after this session, please, please, please email that through to the SV Grants team.
All right. So, I’m just going to go through some of the questions that my team has fed to me until the session’s over basically. Might even get you out of here a bit early. So, we had a question come in.
Q: Has SV worked with the EPA around permitting requirements? How does our fund fit in with the EPA waste requirements for lawful place?
Yep. Great question. Yeah. Very much so. This Fund was designed – I want to say partnership but very heavy consultation with both EPA’s permissions team to ensure that all the pathways are going to be in compliance with lawful place in the new waste framework that the EPA Act has. I’m not going to get into details of that, but we’ll send some links where you can seek that clarification. So, we’ve been working with EPA and continue to do so. And in fact, EPA is going to do a compliance check across all applications as well just to ensure everything meets those compliance requirements. Same with our colleagues at DELWP and Recycling Victoria.
However, the onus is on each applicant to really understand your requirements and obligations be it EPA, DELWP, Recycling Victoria or local planning from that activity and approvals point of view. So please speak out to EPA early on and demonstrate that in the applications. The best way for you to reach EPA is via email. You can do that. I have got that here. It is at email@example.com and I will drop that into the – I will make a quick announcement of this as well. We will also be sending you some of this information in our post-follow up email to you after today’s session.
But yeah, very much we have designed the Fund to be in line with Victorian policy and strategy.
So hopefully that answers your question there. We have another question around:
Q: What about waste streams like grease traps or abattoir waste like offal and paunch?
So first off, I believe grease traps generally speaking are a type of hazardous waste as defined by the EPA. Please clarify your waste type, what it is classified as at the moment to help you with that. All waste needs to be industrial waste and not in some of the higher reportable priority wastes or priority waste as classified by EPA.
The second part of that question, residuals from slaughterhouse are definitely eligible. Any livestock waste is eligible. Just ensure you do your self-assessment against the Waste to Energy Framework and read the Fund criteria in section 2.3 of the Fund Guidelines for Stream 1 or 2 please.
So, let’s see. We had another question – hopefully that answers that question. If not, again I should paraphrase all these questions seek out the guidance from the SV Grants team if my answers don’t give you closure.
So, we had another question come in.
Q: Will a joint venture of the Research Institute and companies be considered for the one to two co-contributions?
So yes. Research institutions do have an exception. You need to look into the Fund criteria in detail and email the Grants team with your specific project’s team make up to clarify that. But I think they will be considered. Research companies do meet that exception.
I am just going to read through some of these more questions here.
This is a good question.
Q: Would the recovery of an organic material from the residual waste stream, so a combination of MSW and putrescible C&I through appropriate processing of anerobic digestion be in scope?
Look as long as the materials are in scope and the process is in scope, you’ll be eligible. So again, contact the Grants team for more details. But there are pathways for municipal solid waste organic material, FOGO, and council garden waste to be eligible through the Fund. The question around technology, have a consideration of the different technologies available that will be the best fit for your material. Sometimes anerobic digestion there’s different better fit alternatives out there for you to consider. And again, I just have a note that co-contribution applies if the research institution is the lead applicant.
So, look pilot scale projects. Get in touch with that. We will need a bit more information out of that. I have got a question.
Q: Is pilot scale for a lot of material per hour eligible for Stream 1 or Stream 2?
It is looking like I think – contact our Grants team but pilot projects most likely come in under Stream 1. But reach out to us please.
So, let’s see. One thing came up from yesterday I just wanted to provide some clarity on as well. I saw there was another question about applicants and eligibility. So, I had a question yesterday and today I will provide you an update on.
Q: Are state agencies eligible for funding?
Look I need to correct my advice from yesterday. As a general rule no. State agencies are not eligible as a lead applicant for funding. However, we encourage you to reach out to the SV Grants team for confirmation and talk through some of the details of your project to see how it fits.
Let’s see. We have got another question.
About business cases.
Q: If Capex is yet to start can we purchase capital items via this funding?
Yes. That is what this Stream is designed for.
Capital purchasing, infrastructure.
So, we have a question around how many applications you can submit. This is a good one. I want to just make sure of the differentiation here. You as an entity can apply for Stream 1 and Stream 2. You can apply as many times as you want to however, they need to be for different projects. So, if I’m Matt’s Dairy Farm I can’t submit my application for my one project to both Streams. I have to pick. However, if I have a number of projects happening at my farm I can apply independently for each of those projects.
You just have to ask yourself is that manageable and doable and viable for you to deliver on time and within scope and within budget. Again back to that criteria about the who and the how.
And again, some around applicant eligibility here.
Q: Does the lead applicant have to contribute financially, or can the partners cover that?
Look at the end of the day the lead applicant will be the one responsible for coordinating and submitting the application. Okay? On one level the spread of financial input can be shared amongst the project partners and that is a business decision for you as a team and applicant to decide. But at the end of the day the lead applicant will be the responsible party.
We have a question here around the cost of a researcher counted as contribution of a research institute. Look we will take that on notice but my interpretation of this with the information I have at the moment is that would probably be considered in-kind financial support. In-kind support is ineligible as a co-contribution factor for this Fund. This fund is all around applicants contributing financial money not in-kind support.
And look similar questions to the one we had earlier about grease trap waste.
Q: Is a project focused on removing hazardous waste from an industrial landfill to compost for land application eligible?
As a blanket rule all forms of hazardous waste no matter the source are ineligible for the Bioenergy Fund. Please reach out to the Grants team for that.
And we have another question come in here around contributions again. Good. A lot of questions around that. So, co-contributions are only eligible for project items outlined in your project plan. Why are you applying to the Fund? What do you require funding for to buy especially Stream 2?
A lot of budget questions. Okay. This is great. So, we have one here.
Q: What can I include in my budget expenditure?
Expenditure items again must be directly related to the project delivery. Expenditures that have been incurred before signing the Funding Agreement also known as retrospective funding is ineligible for either Stream 1 or Stream 2. And just a little point here. All amounts should be exclusive of GST. But you will find that in the application form.
When we look at the number of projects, we are likely to fund with a different budget we might have around ten to 15 come in that we assess qualify for funding. So, make sure when you’re hitting that key evaluation criteria, you’re very clear and specific and exact around what you are requesting funds for on your expenditure budget of your project.
We have got another good one come here. I didn’t get this yesterday. I was hoping for it.
Q: Does each Stream have an allocation against the $10 million?
Fantastic question. So, the short answer is no. As I think I hopefully expressed earlier applications from each Stream will be scored based on their merit against those set evaluation criteria I talked about earlier and showing that they provide value for money. All application scores are then combined in a single pool and ranked for funding out of the $10 million. After the scores are given, we almost in a sense remove if it is Stream 1 or Stream 2. There is just a list of scored applications, and they are prioritised against that $10 million.
So, you will see in the Fund Guidelines SV also says we may overlay rankings to achieve an overall mix of projects to make sure we get a good representation of geographical spread across Victoria, a spread across industries and types of projects and applicants, and then a range of different projects as well. And you will see this covered in more detail in the Fund Guidelines.
Okay. Just going through some more questions here. And thanks again everybody for your questions here.
Yeah. I just see that one came up about FOGO. There are two viable pathways. So yeah, have a look at that.
Can definitely submit an application based on that. Here is one that came in.
Q: How do I demonstrate this project is the best value waste hierarchy management option?
I spoke about that earlier. So, thanks for the pickup on that. So, what you can do is you can ask yourself the following I guess as a starting point. Again, back into that self-assessment space. What are you currently doing with the material at the moment? What have you done in the past? Is there industry standards around how that material is processed? And then ask yourself have you contacted any resource recovery specialists or consultants for advice that can tell you about emerging technology? Reach out to some of those associations I spoke with. You can also in this space consider contacting your local EPA field office and ask to talk with a compliance strategist about what some of your best options for your material and situation might be, so you have full consideration of your legal solution for your material to make sure it is in a lawful place.
Hopefully, that is straightforward. It is a bit of a self-assessment process. So, I guess with waste to energy, waste to energy needs to be considered almost as a last resort before that material goes to landfill. In an ideal world we would be looking at waste minimisation efforts beforehand, higher outcome resource recovery opportunities first to be exhausted before you go down the path of waste to energy.
A very specific one. This is good.
Q: Is refuse derived fuel also known as RDF included in the scope of this Fund?
Short answer is yes. Really have to go back again and ensure that that fuel is made from organic materials, and they meet the eligibility requirements what I’ve talked around for materials and processes earlier.
Process question here.
Q: Late applications be accepted?
Generally, no. Just very transparent playing field for everybody. We are very clear when the cut off time is on Friday the 26th
of August. I think it is 11:59pm to be exact. Have a look at those details. But look we know stuff happens okay. So, what you can do if you think you’re going to be in a situation where you can’t apply in time contact the Grants team well in advance so they can work with you to find a solution or help you meet that deadline. That is outlined in the Terms of Participation.
But again, that is why I encourage you to go make your SmartyGrants account today after the session. Get that out of the way then you will be smooth sailing from hereon in.
Let’s see. Again, just a quick reference to the Waste to Energy Framework. That information is all available online. We will send that information out after this as well. And yes, your projects will need to do that self-assessment of the Waste to Energy Framework to ensure you are eligible to apply for the Bioenergy Fund.
Again, we have a few contact emails we’ll send out. EPA is at firstname.lastname@example.org. Recycling Victoria Waste to Energy Program can be reached at email@example.com. And I think the firstname.lastname@example.org. We will have that information.
Look someone picked up on the Fund objectives. Their project does not divert waste from landfill. Can they still apply? Yes. You can still apply. While we want to see material being diverted from landfill one of the other objectives is the production of bioenergy for these projects. You will need to show in your application that the recovered organic waste had no higher order alternative before being turned into waste to energy.
So subject to satisfying other eligibility requirements all projects are really assessed on merit including those which do not divert waste from landfill.
That is great questions folks. I see there is still some coming in from the Chat box here. I might put one more minute. I will close the floor on questions. If anybody wants one last burning one, please feel free to put it in the Chat box now otherwise I will close questions. I will sort of wrap up with what to do from here. But please encourage you ongoing reach out on to that Grants Enquiries team email that Sugi has put in the Chat just a minute ago from here today please.
Okay. No other burning questions?
Final call. We will move on then. Thanks everybody for those great questions. I hope my answers were clear to you. Please reach out to the SV Grants team beforehand. And also, a copy of this presentation will be given out later and you’ll have access to the Q&A answers in the Chat as well.
So, thank you everybody. It is well appreciated that you’ve taken time out of your day to learn more about Stream 2 of the Waste to Energy Bioenergy Fund. I really appreciate you letting me tell you all of the information and you taking the time as well to provide some questions to us. So I encourage you to keep asking questions through the SV Grants team. Do your due diligence and homework. Talk to your project team. Understand your obligation and conditions of the Fund. Start your SmartyGrants account today. Get the information for the Waste to Energy Framework and start your self-assessment today.
So, I hope you found this session useful.
Thank you for joining us. Good luck. I wish you well. And we will talk with you soon. Have a nice day. Thank you everybody.
[Closing visual of slide with text saying, ‘Thank you’, ‘Grants.Enquiries@sustainability.vic.gov.au’, ‘f @SustainVic’, ‘T @SustainVic’, ‘In Sustainability Victoria’, ‘Sustainability Victoria’, ‘Victoria State Government’]
[End of Transcript]
Thank you for your questions at the information session. Due to the high volume of questions received, some have been re-worded to benefit as many potential applicants as possible.
This page will be regularly updated, based on questions we receive.
In this section:
Are state government agencies like public hospitals eligible to apply?
Yes, state government agencies are eligible to apply for this fund. Please indicate in the application if the government entity is a Lead Applicant or project partner.
Is food waste from residents eligible for funding?
Yes, food waste from residents is eligible for funding if they can either be processed through thermal pyrolysis to sequester carbon or through anaerobic digestion process.
You must demonstrate in your application the steps taken to determine waste to energy as the best value option in the waste management hierarchy.
Is kerbside FOGO (Food Organics Garden Organics) an eligible feedstock for a potential Anaerobic Digestion processing application? Either as an exclusive single stream kerbside FOGO feedstock or as part of a combined feedstock (such as, kerbside FOGO combined with commercial and industrial food or agri-organics).
Yes, kerbside FOGO is an eligible feedstock if they can either be processed through thermal pyrolysis to sequester carbon or through an anaerobic digestion process. Any wood waste must meet the exempt wood waste definition in the waste to energy framework.
You must demonstrate in your application the steps taken to determine waste to energy as the best value option in the waste management hierarchy.
Is grease trap waste considered food manufacturing and processing waste?
Yes, grease trap waste (mix of water, oil, grease and organic sludge) is considered food manufacturing and processing waste. Please note that grease trap waste is classified as a reportable priority waste by the EPA. We recommend you understand your environmental obligations, seek clarification from the EPA and perform due diligence on your compliance requirements.
Is abattoir waste like paunch or offal (residuals from slaughterhouses) an eligible feedstock?
Yes, this is considered livestock waste and is an eligible feedstock.
Is plantation forestry residue permitted (native but not indigenous species)?
Yes, plantation forestry residue is eligible to apply if it is a biomass from native forestry or a wood waste as defined under Regulation 8 of Renewable Energy (Electricity) Regulations 2001. Please complete a self-assessment of the waste to energy framework to test your projects specific conditions.
Are projects for biomass boilers eligible to apply?
Yes, projects for biomass boilers are eligible to apply under specific conditions.
Please check if your feedstock is listed under the scope of our funding. If you are using wood waste, wood waste must be as defined by Regulation 8 of Renewable Energy (Electricity) Regulations 2001.
Complete a self-assessment of your project with the waste to energy framework to understand how your project complies.
Is a pilot scale for 10 kg per hour eligible for Stream 2 or Stream 1?
Pilot or trial and demonstration projects are eligible to apply for funding.
Project stream eligibility for this project will depend on the intended activities during the project period. You can apply for Stream 1 funding if you want to perform feasibility studies of your project idea. You can apply for Stream 2 funding if the project has reached financial close and is ready for bioenergy infrastructure purchase and commissioning.
Can FOGO be thermally treated to produce biochar?
Yes, FOGO (Food Organics Garden Organics) can be thermally treated through pyrolysis process to produce biochar. You should complete a self-assessment on the waste to energy framework and demonstrate that waste to energy is the best value option in the waste management hierarchy.
Would the recovery of an organic rich fraction from the residual waste stream (Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) and putrescible Commercial and Industrial) with subsequent processing through anaerobic digestion be in scope?
To meet eligibility requirements for the Fund materials are required to meet waste classifications. The red MSW bin is ineligible for funding. It would only be eligible for funding if that material undergoes a sorting and recovery process to meet material classifications and conditions. Funding is not eligible to be used for sorting and recovery stages of a bioenergy project.
My project does not divert waste from landfill. Can I still apply?
Yes, applicants whose projects do not divert organic waste from landfill can still apply for funding.
Subject to satisfying eligibility requirements, all projects will be assessed on merit to the objectives of the Fund, including those which do not divert waste from landfill. In the application, projects need to show that the recovered organic material had no higher order alternative prior to waste to energy being considered.
Can I use Stream 2 funding as part of pre-financial closing activities?
No, you cannot use Stream 2 funding for pre-financial close activities. Your project can still apply for Stream 2 funding before reaching financial close.
Reaching financial close would potentially be an early requirement to achieve in your project milestones. You will be required to ensure this risk is controlled.
Is cash contribution from an international company eligible for the cash co-contribution?
Yes, cash co-contribution from an international company is eligible.
Lead Applicants can work with project partners (including international partners) to provide co-contributions to the total project cost; however, the Lead Applicant is responsible for all terms under the funding agreement. The Lead Applicant must demonstrate financial capability to undertake the project.
Is the cost of hiring a researcher counted as a contribution from a research institute?
Yes, the cost of hiring a contract researcher for the sole purpose of project delivery can be counted as a contribution from a research institute. Cash co-contributions can include payments made to third parties, contractors, and external consultancies required for project delivery.
Contributions made to pay existing operating costs, including current and ongoing full-time staff will not be counted towards applicant cash co-contributions.
If projects can be completed ahead of the award, is there provision for back dating payments?
No, retrospective spending is not eligible for funding, such as, expenditure that has been incurred before signing the funding agreement with SV. Projects that receive funding that progress faster than their milestone schedule can request contract variations to cover payments if required.
Does the fund cover the capital costs of integrating a biomass boiler into an existing system that runs on natural gas?
Yes, upgrades or additions to existing bioenergy infrastructure or equipment are eligible to apply.
Will a joint venture of a research institute and a company be considered for the $1:$2 (JV:SV) ratio?
Yes, a joint venture of a research institute and a company can be considered in the co-contribution requirement of the $1:$2 (JV:SV) ratio, if the research institute is the Lead Applicant.
The Lead Applicant is responsible for all terms under the funding agreement. The Lead Applicant must demonstrate financial capability to undertake the project.
My project has not received planning and regulatory approvals yet – is it okay if it hasn't happened yet or can it happen in parallel with making an application?
Yes, applications for planning and regulatory approvals can happen in parallel to Stream 2 funding activities. This is a potential project risk that you would have to consider and flag in your application.
You will want to demonstrate in your application you understand your obligations and have taken steps to achieve any necessary regulatory approvals and permissions. Achieving these markers could potentially be a condition of receiving any milestone funding if the project is successful in receiving funding.
Is Local Government eligible for the cash co-contribution exception of $2:$1 (SV:Applicant) available to Not-for profit organisations, Charities, Community Groups, Co-operatives and Research institutes?
No, Local Government is not eligible for exceptions in cash co-contribution requirements.
Can SV ask for project fund requests to be reduced if a project is suitable but perhaps deemed too costly?
Yes, the evaluation panel might ask for follow up information or other such details during their review process. Value for money is a key criterion of the Fund. Please note that each stream has a cap of funding that a project can ask for.
A business case funded capex project is yet to start – can we purchase capital items via Stream 2 funding?
Yes, Stream 2 funding will cover capital purchase, construction and commissioning costs.
What is the maximum number of projects SV is likely to fund under Stream 2?
There is no maximum number of projects or funding allocated per stream. Each application will be evaluated and ranked on its own merit and not the stream it is part of.
Will there be future funding regarding waste to energy that is under the cap?
No, not at this stage.
Do I need a business case to apply for Stream 2?
No, a formal business case is not required but would be a strong piece of evidence to demonstrate the project's viability. Your application must provide enough information and evidence for the evaluation panel to determine the financial and operational viability of your project.
Are late applications accepted?
Generally, no. Email the Grants Enquiry team before the application deadline for your requests to be considered. There is also a late application process outlined in the Terms of Participation in Grant Programs.
Who should I contact to make changes to my application after submission?
Once you submit your application, you cannot make any changes, except under exceptional circumstances. Email the Grants Enquiry team before applications close for your requests to be considered.
Is it possible to book one-on-one meetings (in Zoom) rather than email for project application discussion?
Yes, please email the Grants Enquiry team to clarify the process.
After applications close, when will decisions be made as to the grant outcomes?
Energy issues are real and immediate; therefore, we intend to streamline the decision-making process as much as possible.
Early 2023 is the expected notification date of outcomes. We will provide applicants with updates as often as possible and when necessary.
Has SV worked with the EPA around permit requirements?
Yes, the Bioenergy Fund was designed in consultation with the EPA, DELWP and Recycling Victoria. Due diligence is required from every applicant to understand their legal and environmental obligations and approval requirements.
We cannot review drafts or provide feedback.
In the subject line, use the grant name Waste to Energy Fund: Bioenergy – Stream 2: Project infrastructure.